From the team who brought you the comedy podcast with currently over 70 million downloads, comes their live show.
My Dad Wrote a Porno is a free online podcast with British hosts Jamie Morton, James Cooper, and Alice Levine. Each week, Jamie reads a chapter from a series of erotic fiction novels entitled Belinda Blinked, while Alice and James react and add in commentary. Belinda Blinked is written by Morton’s Northern Irish father who goes by the pen name Rocky Flintstone. The books centre around Belinda Blumenthal, a sales member of Steeles Pots and Pans. The show has featured episodes with celebrity guests who are fans of the character’s antics within the books. The podcast has just finished the third book in the series.
Like a brick through a plate glass window, Michael Brissenden’s debut novel, THE LIST, grabs attention, raises the heartbeat, and showers an all encompassing thriller in shards of intrigue, tension and sharp wit.
Sifting through those shards, the shrapnel of evidence, clues, markers and pointers is primarily the job of the Australian Federal Police’s K Block, a unit doing whatever it takes to to stop terrorist attacks on home soil.
The pebble that starts the ripple, the murder and mutilation of young Muslim men on the Terror Watchlist, soon becomes a stone around the neck of investigators. They know it’s a message, but from whom and about what? Is it a serial revenge spree perpetrated by a rogue agent or a harbinger of a greater horror to come? Continue reading THE LIST : THE DEBUT NOVEL BY MICHAEL BRISSENDEN→
If you like your novels sugar coated then read the MUMMY BLOGGERS by Holly Wainwright. Wainwright is the head of entertainment at Mamamia Women’s Network. She is a journalist, writer, editor, podcaster and working mother of two.
The premise of the Mummy Bloggers is simple enough. Three very different mothers devise and hatch plans and strategies in on-line warfare to vie for Blogger of the year at the Blog-aahs awards. There is plenty of drama and deception along the way. Competition is fierce. It begs the question, at what lengths will some people go to be successful while betraying the public in the process? It highlights the fact that many ordinary people want their day in the spotlight and their fifteen minutes of fame.
The Shalom/Sydney Jewish Writers Festival takes place at Waverley Library in Bondi Junction on 26-27 August 2017.
This year’s guests include Man Booker Prize-nominated novelist Rachel Seiffert in conversation with Australian director Cate Shortland on telling dark stories – in words and on film.
On opening night, Israeli academic, commentator and critic of the occupation of disputed territory Gadi Taub will be debating ‘Israel: From Inside and Out’ with pro-Israel commentator Alexander Ryvchin. The retelling of Holocaust stories – across generations and media – comes under the spotlight with Melbourne musician and writer Bram Presser, head of book publisher Scribe, Henry Rosenbloom and UNSW academic and documentary maker Su Goldfish. Elsewhere in the eclectic program, Mia Freedman, John Safran,Geraldine Doogue,Caroline Baum and many others discuss topics of interest to the Jewish community and beyond.
“Just as you don’t need to be French to enjoy the French Film Festival, you don’t need to be Jewish to enjoy SJWF,” says Festival Director Justine Saidman. “Jewish wisdom teaches that books are more precious than gold and should be treated as companions, their authors as guides. We hope that everyone who attends our Festival this year will be challenged, inspired and invigorated by our offering.”
“In the lacunae of language men and women understand different things about personal boundaries. What men call privacy, women know as secrecy. For men, privacy means not being told stuff that would hurt. For women, secrecy is having stuff go on behind your back.”
This is just a snippet in the well of wisdom that is UNCLE DYSFUNTIONAL, a collection from Esquire’s advice columnist, the late, great, acerbic abolisher of bosh, A A Gill.
The Late Show is LAPD parlance for the night shift and it’s been appropriated as the title of Michael Connelly’s latest thriller.
Eschewing Harry Bosch and Mickey Haller his seemingly perennial serial protagonists, Connelly has created a new lead character, Renee Ballard, an Hawaiian transplant pulling the late show out of Hollywood.
THE LATE SHOW is a slow burn of a page turner, a police procedural that sees Ballard pick up a trio of cases she wants no part of but cannot bear to part with.
Marion Meyer’s book PINA BAUSCH : THE BIOGRAPHY is the first biography of the legendary dancer and choreographer Pina Bausch to be published in English.
Pina (short for Phillipina) Bausch ranks among the most influential performers and choreographers of the twentieth century, regarded as a leading influence in the field of modern dance from the 1970s until her death in 2009.
Born in Solingen Bausch’s parents were hotel owners and her career began at a very young age performing for the hotel visitors. At age 15, Bausch was accepted into the Folkwangschule (Folkwang Academy directed by the highly influential Kurt Jooss. Bausch eventually joined Jooss’ Folkwang-Ballett (Folkwang Ballet) after a stint in America on a scholarship and ended up becoming artistic director in 1969. Continue reading PINA BAUSCH : THE FIRST BIOGRAPHY OF ONE OF THE LEGENDS OF DANCE→
These violent delights have violent ends says Shakespeare in Romeo & Juliet.
He loved a good warning to set the scene. Perhaps these days he’d be writing crime fiction sensations like THE DARK LAKE, the debut novel from Melbourne based author, Sarah Bailey.
Bailey has harnessed her tale of regional town homicide to the work horse of Shakespeare, and of Romeo & Juliet in particular, complete with teenage suicide, parental displeasure, and a victim called Rosalind.
When the body of high school drama teacher, Rosalind Ryan, is found in the lake the morning after the triumphant opening night of her student’s production of Romeo & Juliet, ancient grudge breaks to new mutiny, as local cop, Detective Sergeant Gemma Woodstock, uncovers a ‘storm’ of Shakespeare like dimension.
Featured photo – Tara Moss signing copies of her book at North Sydney’s Stanton Library. All photos by Ben Apfelbaum.
Model, crime author and public speaker Tara Moss’ empowering and enlightening book SPEAKING OUT, aimed at inspiring girls and women, delivers on many levels. And it begs the question, why aren’t there more books written on this subject?!
In Moss’s forward she says, “Having a voice is part of what makes us human…Language connects us. Our voices connect us. When we are silent or unheard our ideals and perspectives, our needs, our pain and our struggles remain unknown or unacknowledged and for this reason unchanged.”
Moss continues with this line of thought- she “examines the challenges facing women and girls – the external obstacles of silencing, dismissals, bullying and threats of violence, and the internal challenges of crises of confidence…”
Featured photo credit Viv McGregor. Outstanding Committee left to right; Sophie Robinson, Alex Greenwich, Gail Hewison, Robert Tate and Teresa Savage.
It’s official! IT’S COMPLICATED is the theme for this year’s OUTSTANDING short story competition.
The OutStanding Short Story Competition is Australia’s premier creative writing event for the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Intersex and Queer community of Australia and New Zealand and this year’s competition was launched at a low key event in the heart of Oxford Street.
Alex Greenwich, Independent Member for Sydney and long standing supporter, made the announcement last night. With the bit of a tussle he had with a tightly sealed envelope adding to the suspense, eager writers gathered in the intimate feathered and pink chandeliered bar waiting to see where their imagination would take them. Continue reading LGBTIQ : OUTSTANDING SHORT STORY COMPETITION→
This beautifully presented book will be treasured by contemporary dance lovers. Wakefield Press yet again have brought us a stunning medium to large sized coffee table book, in this case the history of Australian Dance Theatre, informatively, eloquently written and with superb photos.
The publication features forwards by both the current Chairman Kim Boehm and Robyn Archer, an excellent index at the back is included, and there is also a handy listing of the various dancers who performed under each of the artistic directors. The writer, Maggy Tonkin, is a leading writer on dance who resides in Adelaide .
Considered radical, daring and new, Australian Dance Theatre (ADT) is Australia’s oldest continuously running contemporary dance company. Celebrating half a century of innovation in dance performance, FIFTY blends archival research, interviews and magnificent photos to take us from its founding by Elizabeth Cameron Dalman through to the exciting performances that are taking place nowunder the current Artistic Director Garry Stewart.
ADT’s tumultuous history is divided into seven chapters (each of the artistic directors reigns) with a striking portrait of each. The book fascinatingly follows the sometimes quite different paths ADT has taken under the successive artistic direction of Elizabeth Cameron Dalman, Jonathan Taylor, Lenny Westerdijk and Anthony Steel,Leigh Warren,Meryl Tankard, Bill Pengelly and Garry Stewart. Continue reading ‘FIFTY’ BY MAGGY TONKIN CHARTS THE HISTORY OF THE AUSTRALIAN DANCE THEATRE→
LONNIE’S LAMENT, the latest collection of poems by Ken Bolton, was recently published by Wakefield Press. Bolton has been a major figure in the Australian poetry and experimental writing scene for decades. Whilst he says that he writes ‘to keep awake, and amused’, this latest collection is yet another reminder of how wonderful a writer he is.
This is a splendid, richly detailed biography of the iconic Australian artist Martin Sharp. He was the co-founder and principal cartoonist at Oz magazine, a song-writing partner to Eric Clapton, the producer of many famous pop, and much more.
Joyce Morgan, former Sydney Morning Herald arts editor and journalist, interviewed artist Martin Sharp frequently and intensively during the last decade of his life and unearthed a fascinating, complex man – from his involvement with Tiny Tim and Luna Park to Arthur Stace’s Eternity landmark scrawl, Picnic at Hanging Rock, and the Sydney Opera House.
It was more than a bit of a challenge when I was requested to write a review of a book written by an eminent and esteemed critic, academic, best selling author and a person who is the Sydney Morning Herald chief book reviewer. The gentleman is Andrew Riemer, the book Between The Fish and The Mudcake.
In his book, Riemer reminiscences about well known literary figures; there are food references and destinations mentioned. It is part memoir, history lesson, political piece, travelogue and social commentary.
Between the Fish and the Mudcake begins by discussing Patrick White whom he meets at a dinner party in Sydney in 1966 and who undergoes Riemer’s astute character observations and analysis of his personality. “We see him driven into precisely the taciturn hostility, thinly disguised beneath a veneer of politeness…” Continue reading ANDREW RIEMER : BETWEEN THE FISH AND THE MUDCAKE→
A dream house becomes a nightmare dwelling in J P Delaney’s uber impressive debut novel, THE GIRL BEFORE.
Stick Girl in the title these days and you’re assured a bestseller it seems, but THE GIRL BEFORE is bound to sweep away Gone, Girl and Girl on a Train on equal merit and not just marketing spin.
“Sometimes I have a sense that this house- our relationship in it, with it, with each other -is like a palimpsest or pentimento, that however much we try to over paint Emma Matthews, she keeps tiptoeing back: a faint image, an enigmatic smile, stealing its way into the corner of the frame.” Continue reading THE GIRL BEFORE : A DEBUT NOVEL BY J.P. DELANEY→
Any new experience can be a bit scary and there were a lot of reassured volunteers today when Misty, Sydney Writer’s Festival Volunteer Manager looked across the rows of eager newbies and said. “You will probably be petrified when you arrive at the Vollies Green Room for the first time. Don’t worry. We’ll spot you!” And that’s my takeaway from today’s Volunteer Orientation, we are in good hands. Continue reading DIARY OF A VOLUNTEER : SYDNEY WRITER’S FESTIVAL→
Alyssa Palombo’s book THE MOST BEAUTIFUL WOMAN IN FRANCE strikingly captures the dangerous allure of the bond between artist and muse with delicacy, candour and unforgettable passion.
Palombo is also the author of The Violinist of Venice. She has published short fiction pieces in Black Lantern Magazine and The Great Lakes Review. A recent graduate of Canisius College she holds degrees in English and creative writing. A passionate music lover, she is a classically trained musician as well as a big fan of heavy metal. She currently resides in Buffalo, New York. Continue reading THE MOST BEAUTIFUL WOMAN IN FLORENCE : SIMONETTA CATTANEO→
If the act of reading is necessarily a quiet, solitary activity the opposite can be true of when we share or discuss what we read. This dynamic communality is what draws me every year to the Sydney Writer’s Festival.
Some of the best conversations I have ever had about writing, the perception of writing, even the act of writing have been in queues on cool May afternoons as I wait gratefully to attend an SWF event. Strangers with whom I might disagree, agree, agree to disagree or simply be excited with.
And it appears that I am not the only one who acknowledges the pleasure of choosing from over 300 events each year. Today I did my first shift as an SWF volunteer. One of the hundreds of people who put up their hands to make this iconic Sydney event run smoothly for the solitary love of reading and the vibrant sharing of what we read. Continue reading Diary of a Volunteer: Sydney Writers Festival 2017→
Sydney’s premier poetry night, “Word In Hand”, is set to host one of the greatest voices of our time on April 4th with the Windham-Campbell prize winning, Yankunytjatjara/Kokatha poet, Ali Cobby Eckermann.
As an award winning writer and survivor of The Stolen Generations, Cobby Eckermann uses her own experiences to weave powerful and provoking poetry that often shines a light directly on issues Australia continues to try to ignore.
When asked why she writes by Poetry International Rotterdam, Cobby Eckermann said: “I guess I write for both my families, and for my ongoing healing that I need in my life. Mostly though for the Aboriginal audience. It is my biggest thrill when they attend any forum to hear my words. I have been amazed at the reaction from the wider Australian and international audiences to my poetry, which encourages me to keep writing too . . . Poetry has also been the tool to assist my adopted family to understand some of the change that occurred deep within myself. I often say “poetry saves lives”.”
Poet and activist Candy Royalle, who will also be hosting the night, wrote about Cobby Eckermann’s work for The Guardian saying: “Poetry has the potential to pierce through the intellectual and aim straight for the heart. It can move people in ways other crafts can’t. So it is with Ali Cobby Eckermann’s work.”
This April, Word In Hand promises to be a night full of passion, power and pride, and with Ali Cobby Eckermann well on her way to international superstardom, this may be the last chance to catch her in such an intimate setting.
This awe inspiring event at Glebe’s Friend In Hand Hotel will also feature a performance by Sydney superstar Nancy J Dennis whose impressive resume includes: Truth (2012), alongside Cate Blanchett; 2:22 (2008) opposite Michiel Huisman; and the role of Foxy Baker in Baz Luhrmann’s The Great Gatsby.
As always, Word In Hand offers the audience more than just a night of inspiring and thought provoking entertainment – it gives them the chance to be involved too, with open mic, games and prizes up for grabs.
Word in Hand with Ali Cobby Eckermann will take place on April 4 between 7 pm and 10 pm at the Friend In Hand Hotel, Glebe.
Just finished reading WORKING CLASS BOY the first instalment of the story of James Dixon Swan, aka – Jimmy Barnes. As usual I am about six months behind the times, the book was published to much fanfare last year, ironically when Barnsey was doing publicity for the book at various venues in Sydney I was in Glasgow. In a pub, about ten minutes from Cowcaddens, the rough area that Barnes lived in until the age of five. That’s just how life is sometimes, but back to the real story.
Barnes’ home life in both Glasgow and Elizabeth, SA (where he spent most of his youth) was shambolic, the family lived in poverty and violence was commonplace. The stories he tells make your hair stand on end, the two bottles of vodka a day that became a regular feature of his later life start making sense. His substance abuse was not the usual garden variety abuse of the ‘sex, drugs and rock ‘n’ roll crowd. Barnes was in need of more anesthetizing, to banish the memories of his troubled upbringing. Yet he tells it with such candour and humour that the reader is drawn in to the grey streets of Glasgow and South Australia willingly and we are happy to take the journey with him, and to some pretty dark places.Continue reading WORKING CLASS BOY : THE EARLY LIFE OF JIMMY BARNES→
There’s no disputing the good writing and deserved bestsellerdom of books like Gone, Girl and Girl on a Train, just as there is no disputing the good writing and deserved bestsellerdom of Australian fiction that conjures comparison with these international blockbusters.
I recently waxed lyrical over Emily McGuire’s An Isolated Incident (run the search on this site), and I unequivocally wax the same lyricism for Jane Jago’s THE WRONG HAND.
Featured image – talented, versatile author Mick Herron.
In prose and dialogue drier than a perfect Martini, SPOOK STREET may have a double O in its title but its tone is more Le Carre and Deighton than Fleming, although there’s the odd nod to Bond, in a sly “What would James do?” way.
These spooks are not strictly MI 5 or MI 6, this bunch is MI sfits and MI istakes.
“Slough House was a branch of the service, certainly, but ‘arm’ was pitching it strong. As was ‘finger’, come to that; fingers could be on the button or the pulse. Fingernails, now; those, you clipped, discarded, and never wanted to see again.”